Lazy Sunday CIV: Time

Today we’re back onto Daylight Saving Time, so we’ve lost an hour of sleep and can enjoy a more hours of sunlight.  I tend to enjoy nighttime, but going off of Daylight Saving Time is horrible—there are days when, like an Alaskan in January, I don’t see the sun.

Whilst working the SAT yesterday morning, colleagues were discussing the time change, with all the usual remarks:  “we should stay on it forever!” or “we can’t control time.”  I fellow teacher said, “Time is a manmade concept,” to which I replied, “Yep—that’s why I only date twenty-one-year olds.”  That elicited some amused laughter, even though that joke is (for better or for worse) not true.

In thinking about time—our most valuable commodity, as we all run out of it and don’t know how much of it we have—I looked back at some posts loosely related to the concept.  In honor of our arbitrary shifting of the clock one hour into the future, allow me to present them to you this abbreviated Sunday:

  • Meetings are (Usually) a Waste of Time” – I don’t like meetings, which is funny, because I ran for a position that literally requires me to attend one once a month.  But I find most meetings are merely an opportunity for administrative grandstanding, and to prove that the bureaucracy serves a purpose.  Of course, they accomplish the exact opposite.  Good, thirty-minute meetings are useful for coordinating a team each week, but otherwise, let people get on with their day and get their work done.
  • Ocarina of Time Soundtrack Review” – This post about the legendary Ocarina of Time soundtrack doesn’t have much to do with time as a concept, but it music is all about the placement of beautiful notes—harmonies and melodies—against the canvas of time.  Pretty poetic, eh?
  • New Mustang is a Sign of the Times” (and “TBT: New Mustang is a Sign of the Times“) – No Mustang should ever be an electric vehicle.  That’s pretty much the gist of this piece, and the concept that everything is awesome is in decline.  I hope I’m wrong, but, c’mon—don’t make a Mustang into an electric car.
  • Five Dollar Friday: The Elites and a Giant Clock” – I’ll be honest, this was a post where I was really grasping for some content.  I’m intrigued by the gigantic, ten-thousand year clock Bezos is funding in the desert, though, and what it says about our elites.

Well, that’s it.  Take some time—giggity—to relax today.  Enjoy the sunshine!

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

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Lazy Sunday LV: Animals

Coronavirus dominates the news, which makes the news both frightening and boring.  Reporting on The Virus is all over the map.  The media can’t even cut President Trump some slack during a national emergency, such as their egregious misreporting on the efficacy of hydroxichloroquine.

Yes, yes, we know that there haven’t been clinical trials, but hydroxichloroquine is a safe, well-established drugs.  It also bears remembering that most medical doctors are, essentially, high-functioning autists:  they can’t help but sacrifice the good to the perfect.  Thus, their reasoning is, “Yes, it seems to be working very well, but we can’t know for sure scientifically without years of testing.”  Meanwhile, people are suffering, but the anti-malaria drug has proven—anecdotally—to be hugely successful.

We’re Americans:  if it works, it works, even if it’s not the theoretically ideal solution.  That seems to be the divide between our elites, who exist in a world of abstractions (because they can afford to indulge in those abstractions) and the rest of us, who live in the earthiness of Reality.

But I digress.  With the persistent incantations of “social distancing” and “flattening the curve,” I’ve been casting about for some interesting blogging material.  This last week I kept going to animals, for some reason, so why not do the truly lazy thing and just feature the posts about them?

I am no great lover of animals, but I don’t dislike them, as long as they aren’t in my house.  I’ve grown more fond of cats and dogs as I’ve gotten older, though, and I’ve always liked fish, lizards, frogs, and the like.  I even wrote an entire digital EP about unicorns.  I even commissioned one of my former students—a true lover of animals—to do the artwork (I think I paid her $20—too little for the quality) for each song (here, here, here, and here), and my “tour” in 2019 I dubbed “The Year of the Panther.”

All that said, here are some primal posts for your enjoyment:

  • New Mustang is a Sign of the Times” – This post isn’t about animals, per se, but the name of this iconic American vehicle is animalistic.  I’m stretching here, so just roll with it.  The occasion for this post (and last week’s TBT) was Ford’s disastrous plans to make a muscle car into an electric hatchback.  I love hatchbacks and fuel efficiency, but let’s stop taking one thing and making them into another.  It’s like when they make James Bond into a black demiqueer woman.  I don’t care if creators make some interesting new character with those racial and gender qualities, but don’t take James Bond—who I think is supposed to be Scottish—and make him something he isn’t.  Imagine if we made Othello into a white woman.  Come now.
  • Albino Giraffes Poached” – This story is truly sad, as it involves the cold-blooded murder (presumably; maybe some tribal had to eat to survive) of two albino giraffes.  I make some wild accusations against the Chinese, so it’s got everything—beautiful creatures, poaching, and casting broad aspersions against an entire group of people.
  • Tarantulas and the Hygge” – My general philosophy towards spiders is live and let live, with the caveat—“you live as long as you stay away from me.”  I don’t mind a little spider hanging out in some dusty corner of my house, eating up whatever lower-order insects shouldn’t be around.  I don’t mind them hanging around outside (that’s even better!), gobbling up all the nasty things.  But when I look at spiders, I have to imagine they are a form of extraterrestrial life—few of God’s creatures appears and acts more alien than do arachnids.

    That said, this post looked at the piece “Tarantulas: Masters of the Art of Hygge,” from the website Tarantula Heaven.  I’ve learned a lot about tarantulas over the past couple of weeks, and they are truly remarkable creatures.  I’m not going to get one, to be sure, but I have a greater appreciation for them and their various arachnid cousins than I once did.

That’s it for this Lazy Sunday.  Be sure to have your pets spayed and neutered—and don’t let your tarantula out of its tank.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

TBT: New Mustang is a Sign of the Times

From giraffes to tarantulas, the unofficial theme this week has been weird animals.  Other than my “Christmas Eve” blog post in 2019, I haven’t written much about animals, so this week has been a surprising turn even for me.  Politics has gotten stale again now that the Democratic primaries are on hold or delayed, and being cooped up inside has got me diving into some odd topics, apparently.

So, in keeping with the animalistic theme, I went to the closest post I could find to shoehorn into it:  my November 2019 piece on the new eco-friendly Ford Mustang.

Talk about some perspective.  Life was so good and plague-free just four months ago, I could gripe unironically about Ford ruining a classic car, as if that were a major problem.

Still, Ford should know better than to make a classic muscle car-for-the-masses into an electric hatchback.  That’s fruitier than Pete Buttigieg reading to children at a public library.

Hopefully we’ll soon be feeling the wind whip through our hair again as we rocket down the Interstate in our virtue-signalling e’Stang.  In the meantime, here’s 2019’s “New Mustang is a Sign of the Times“:

Before diving into today’s post, I’d like to give a YUGE “thank you” to Nebraska Energy Observer for reblogging yesterday’s post.  His commentary on my post and Leslie Alexander’s moving personal essay adds greatly to the discussion of modern alienation, and gives me some encouragement in these dark days.

Everything awesome goes to crap.  That’s the thought I had yesterday when reading fridrix’s brief post lamenting the new electronic Ford Mustang, the Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Electric cars are fine, although environuts shouldn’t delude themselves that driving these battery-powered vehicles are saving the environment (it’s pedantic to point out, but batteries require a great deal of mining to get the metals necessary to build them, and the electricity to charge them comes from coal-, oil-, and nuclear-power, so it’s not like you’re truly making an end-run around fossil fuels).  But a Ford Mustang shouldn’t be an  electric car; at least, it shouldn’t be one that looks like this iteration.

Ford has taken an iconic muscle car and turned it into a limp-wristed hatchback.  Look, I drive a thirteen-and-a-half-year old Dodge Caravan with dents and collapsing headliner, but I don’t pretend its four-cylinder engine and stocky frame make it a sports car (the 2006 Dodge Caravan actually has a fairly sleek design compared to modern minivans).  I like hatchbacks just fine; they seem practical and utilitarian—the exact opposite of what a Ford Mustang should be!

This mania for political correctness and efficiency is infecting every aspect of our society and our lives.  Yet another legendary brand has fallen to the fleeting faddism of our present age.  A car like a Ford Mustang—much like the Dodge Charger—should be a gloriously wasteful (in terms of fuel efficiency) affair, a blasphemous testament to the bravado of the engineers and the driver.

That’s what makes these cars cool.  They’re powerful, they’re in-your-face, and they’re all American—like Chuck Norris or the Die Hard movies.

Now, just like everything else masculine and dangerous, we’ve neutered this vehicle into a yuppie dad car.  Journalists are celebrating the fact that the vehicle wasn’t worse than what it is.  I can only imagine the whipped husband picking up groceries for his overbearing wife, escaping the oppression of his personal and professional life in fleeting moments of ecstasy while listening to classic rock in his… electric hatchback.

If—when?—I go through my midlife crisis, I want a car that gets 15 miles-per-gallon or less, with some kind of awesome and/or mythical animal on the hood—which covers a thunderous, gas-guzzling V8 engine—and that will wake up the neighbors when I drive in from late-night photo shoots for Hot Rod Magazine.

Well, nothing lasts forever, even cold November Mustangs.

Cybertruck

Last week, troubled electric automaker Tesla announced Elon Musk’s latest brainchild, the Cybertruck.  The Cybertruck—the name of which I am sure is meant to evoke the dystopian sci-fi genre cyperpunk—features a rolled steel and titanium exoskeleton that looks like a Nintendo 64 polygonal rendering of an automobile.

It’s unorthodox design aside, I honestly can’t make up my mind on whether or not I like this vehicle.  Last week I lamented the new electric Mustang, not because it is electric, but because it’s a hatchback.  The title of that piece was “New Mustang is a Sign of the Times,” and my point was that everything awesome seems to be deteriorating.

Does the Tesla Cybertruck fit that trend?  Is it a horrible monstrosity?  Or is it a daringly original vehicle?

I’m not sure.

Read More »

SubscribeStar Saturday: Shrinkflation

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

When Americans experience a sense that the world we live in is not what it should be, we’re often scolded for not being thankful for all of our material abundance.  Indeed, we are extremely blessed to live in an age with plenty of food, infrastructure, and novelties, and we accordingly enjoy a standard of living beyond the wildest dreams of most of our forebears.

That said, there’s a nagging sense that, for all that abundance, things are amiss.  There’s a strong tug of to that undercurrent among conservatives today.  Material abundance is great, but it hasn’t addressed deeper moral problems or battles in the culture wars, because those problems aren’t materialist in nature—they can’t be.

Even within the plane of the material world, things seem a bit off.  That was the crux of my post about the new Mustang, a redesign so beyond the scope of the name “Mustang” that it’s ludicrous to call it as such.  Everywhere we look, there seems to be disintegration and decay—of value, of standards, even of size.

To read the rest of this post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

New Mustang is a Sign of the Times

Before diving into today’s post, I’d like to give a YUGE “thank you” to Nebraska Energy Observer for reblogging yesterday’s postHis commentary on my post and Leslie Alexander’s moving personal essay adds greatly to the discussion of modern alienation, and gives me some encouragement in these dark days.

Everything awesome goes to crap.  That’s the thought I had yesterday when reading fridrix’s brief post lamenting the new electronic Ford Mustang, the Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Electric cars are fine, although environuts shouldn’t delude themselves that driving these battery-powered vehicles are saving the environment (it’s pedantic to point out, but batteries require a great deal of mining to get the metals necessary to build them, and the electricity to charge them comes from coal-, oil-, and nuclear-power, so it’s not like you’re truly making an end-run around fossil fuels).  But a Ford Mustang shouldn’t be an  electric car; at least, it shouldn’t be one that looks like this iteration.

Read More »